comparative analysis of viewership preference of foreign and local television stations among Cameroonian youths (University of Buea students)
|JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION|
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|MS Word & PDF|
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The world is gradually changing due to the advancement of television; the world has become a global village. As it is, foreign and local television stations are like two sides of a coin, bringing in positive and negative sides. Nowadays, most people rely on television for content, that is, entertainment, information and education. In the two decades after World War II, television became the most popular mass medium throughout most of the world. Television first came to Cameroon in 1985, relatively late as compared to other countries.
The USA developed the most successful commercial model, one that relies on advertisers to sponsor programming primarily intended for large audiences with a vast comparatives analysis in film production facilities. The USA has the largest of TV entertainment shows. Despite its global influence, US television underwent several transformations between 1950 and 2000. Initially, national network in combination with major advertisers dominated the medium. Viewers choose from a limited number of channels, most of which were affiliated with a network. But beginning in the 1980s, cable and other new technologies began to determine the networks hegemony if not the very concept of mass audience for TV programming. (J.l Baughman, 2015).
Television is a mode of (tele) communication typically used for translating moving (color) images (and potentially sound) to audiences. Although the technology was commercially available since the late 1920s (very limited amount and at a high price), television has since become a common house hold good. In 2009, approximately 78% of the worlds household owned at least one television set with 87% of TV sold being color liquid crystal display- screen TVs. The first transmission of images occurred in 1881 using a device called the pan telegraph (Laurens de Rooij). In 1927, Philo Tran-worth made the world’s first working television system with electronic scanning of both the pickup and the display devices. It was demonstrated to the press on September 1st 1928. Before the evolution of television, other mediums for the transmission of information, entertainment had existed that is, radio and news papers both foreign and local. These where mediums in which people got news, entertainment before the coming of television.
In a global context language is perhaps the initial cue to audience that provides a sense of both who is addressing them and whom they are being addressed to. A viewer addressed in a local language is more likely to recognized the texted as addressed to him or he by someone who is close and to enjoy the program more than he or she could if the text were in a foreign language. Cohen (2002) at another level, if a channel provides a foreign text with translation; it signals that although the text was not originally produced for local audiences, it is being mediated for them by the local broadcaster.
The existence of alternative demands preference and choice of television stations based on the viewers unique and diverse needs like all consumer of other products, the viewers decision making process is influenced by both internal and external factor that can be measured by the viewer’s choice of channels, programs and number of repeat visits or the level of awareness. By measuring the factors that influence viewer’s preference, television can develop marketing strategies that are responsive to consumer’s needs and wants thus gaining a competitive advantage. Preference tends to indicate choice. Choice is created and modified through a decision making process. Busch and Houston (1985), identified six stages involved in the consumer’s decision process which are problem recognition, internal search, and external search. Information receipt, decision and post decision. Katz et al (1978), employed this uses of gratification model to explain media exposure.
A good number of TV channels are available for viewers of different countries and speakers of different languages other than English and French spoken in Cameroon as two official languages. CRTV is the first TV channel in Cameroon which operates under the authority of the ministry of information and culture.
According to Steel and Brown (1995), studies of media influence are crucial for some reasons. First, young people spend more time on television then they do in school or with their parents. Secondly, the media are full of portrayers and glamorize risky adult behaviors such as excursive drinking and sexual promiscuity. Stephenson (1967) as cited in Folarin (2005,p.170), divides man’s activities into work and play. Work involves reality and production, while play deals with entertainment, relaxation or self-satisfaction. He further explained that people use mass communication more as play than as work, more for pleasure and entertainment than for serious work since what is considered entertaining varies from one person to the and other this leads to their preferences .Television has been evolving for over a hundred years. There were two main lines of development, the photomechanical and electronic. The electronic was to prove the better system with the photomechanical falling into discuss in 1930’s. The idea for television was proposed by the American scientist CR Carey in the late 1870’s. Carey proposed a system for using electricity to send a picture from a camera to a receiver some distance away. The first television to work was created by Boris Rosing in St. Petersburg in Russia.
Today customers are unique and their needs are diverse. They have different taste and preferences in order to be able to successfully market a product. The marketer must be able to measure the factors that influence consumer’s preference (Muriuki, 2003). Viewer’s preference for television stations is influenced by both internal and external factors that can be measured by viewer’s choice of channels, programs and level of awareness. A television station that does not know the audience preference will be difficult for them to schedule and place adverts and better content. The prevalence of foreign content in the Cameroon media space is an ongoing discourse among scholars in Cameroon especially within the context of cultural imperialism. Akinfeleye and Amobi (2011) assert that the media are potent social systems that transmit cultural heritage from one generation to the next. Unimpressively, however, the media in Cameroon have been accused of undermining this social responsibility performance by allowing the dominance of foreign content.
In the 1960s and 70s, media scholars and social scientists believed that the media had the power to sway huge audiences. But as of late, the situation has become complex, following the phenomenon known as ‘media convergence’ wherein both the media and their audiences are in the same marketplace of information deluge where supply exceeds demand. To understand the highly complex processes through which media effect takes place, researchers usually isolate elements in the communication process: communicator, channel and message in order to properly appraise the media.
Statement of the Problem
The viewership preference of foreign and local television stations by Journalism and Mass Communication students in the University of Buea student is a very important aspect given that the preference of a particular student to watch either foreign or local television stations will not be the same as another student in the same institution; everyone has their preferences.
Today, viewers are unique and their views are diverse. They have different taste and preference. in order to gain audience for a particular television channel, the TV station must be able to meet up with the needs of its viewers in order t capture that particular person given that there are so many television stations both local and foreign.
The urban viewers especially in Cameroon has an abundance of channel choice because of the number of new television channels (such as HI TV, PSTV, STV.) and proliferation of alternative entertainment sources (such as the internet, video rentals, mobile phones).
This leads to audience fragmentation as the total viewing audience is spread among channels. In such an environment, owners of TV channels are concerned with attracting audience to view their channels.
It is therefore important that they establish, maintain and expand their viewer’s interest since the viewer’s decision making process for preference and choice of television station is influenced by both internal and external factors, establishing, maintaining and expanding television viewership preference is increasingly difficult if those factors are not identified.
By measuring the factors that influence viewer’s preference television station must be able to know viewer’s choice of channel, programs and number of repeat visits or level of awareness. This study therefore sought to compare viewership preference for foreign and local television stations by Journalism and Mass Communication students in the University of Buea .
- Research Questions
Main research question: What is the viewership preference of foreign and local television stations among Journalism and Mass Communication students?
- Do Journalism and Mass Communication students prefer foreign to local television stations?
- What factors influence viewership preference?
- Is packaging a determinant factor for viewership preference of either foreign or local television stations?
- Objectives of the Study
Objectives of the study include:
-To find out the viewership preference for foreign and local television stations among University of Buea students.
-To know if there are any preference for foreign and local television stations.
-To find out if there are factors that influence viewership preference for foreign and local television stations.
-To find out if there are any influence in packaging which affects viewership preference for foreign and local television stations.